Role Models – Message from the Director of Smart Cities & Sport

“This second volume goes beyond individuals and groups and explores the more impersonal conception of model cities and model events.”

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Mélanie Duparc,
Director of Smart Cities

Mélanie Duparc, Director Smart Cities & Sport

The essence of the Smart Cities & Sport Network is the sharing of experiences and best practices as well as inspiring and being inspired by the initiatives and projects of others. The subject of role models is key in bringing our Learn-Share-Connect vision to life. A role model is someone who inspires you: individual, group, institution, territory, programme or event.

This publication intends to define of role models in sport. While the textbook definition of a role model is fairly clear, the question of who qualifies as a role model leads to countless stories and anecdotes. With so many stories to share, we felt it necessary to include two volumes in this publication — with more sure to come! This second volume goes beyond individuals and groups and explores the more impersonal conception of model cities and model events.

Through sport events, specific messages can be tailor-made and spread to specific audiences. Anne-Cecile Turner, The Ocean Race’s Sustainability Director will explain what “racing with purpose” means and how an event can be a catalyst for change. Another example is the She Runs comprehensive programme led by the International School Sport Federation. With a race at the centre of the flagship event, young girls acquire valuable knowledge and skills through a sport-related project to be implemented in their community.

No need for the Smart Cities & Sport Cities’ audience to be convinced that cities are legitimate and key players in instigating changes. The second part of this volume explores Barcelona’s leading role in introducing the philosophy and practice of the Superblock in its urban planning, and the Paris 2024 countrywide declination of the Games through the efforts of Terre de Jeux 2024. As anchored in the field, cities are best positioned to test, implement, and adapt policies that meet the needs and expectations of their citizens and to share these practices through city networks.

This message gives us the opportunity to warmly thank all contributors for their engagement, their willingness to share inspiring stories and their availability!

Enjoy the reading!